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How to backup a complete virtual applicance - Bitnami Redmine Stack?

Subscribe to How to backup a complete virtual applicance - Bitnami Redmine Stack? 6 post(s), 2 voice(s)

Avatar lysrin 3 post(s)

Hello all,

I did some searching for this, both here and Google, but can’t seem to find exactly what I am looking for. Apologies if this is already addressed somewhere. The backup article in faq is helpful, but not what I need.

I am currently running the Bitnami Virtual Appliance for Redmine as a VirtualBox (v.4) virtual machine (VM) (host is Windows XP). I want to safely backup the entire VM, so if something fails, I can just create a new VM and pick up where I left off.

I have successfully used the VBoxManage clonehd command to make a clone of the appliance with a new UUID, and I can make the new VM with it, but I have the following questions/problems:

1. When I run the VM using the clone, there is no eth0, and I cannot use ifconfig to configure it. Therefore, no access to Redmine.

2. In the original bitnami virtual application download, there are 9 other vmdk files with s001, s002, s003, etc. in their names, that appear to get modified while the machine is running. However, when I use VBoxManage to create the clone, only one vmdk file is created. Even though the VM starts and runs (although without network):
– Will the lack of these other vmdk files cause a problem?
– What are they?
– Do I have to do a VBoxManage clonehd for each of the other 9 vmdk files?

Thanks in advance

Avatar Beltrán Rueda Administrator 3,714 post(s)


Not sure what the problem could be with the network. Is the application running properly? I think that you can do an snapshot and move to another virtual box without any problem.

To have several files is not a problem, it is just only the way that Virtual Box saves the hard disk.

Avatar lysrin 3 post(s)


Thanks for getting back to me. I will check into snapshots and see if that is the solution I need.

About the multiple files: The multiple files were in the downloaded zip from bitnami, and then I selected the vmdk without s00… in its name to setup the virtual appliance in VirtualBox. However, when I clone, VirtualBox makes only a single vmdk file.

Do you mean that VMWare uses multiple files, but VirtualBox only sees it as one? I am still confused about what all the files are in the download from bitnami.


Avatar Beltrán Rueda Administrator 3,714 post(s)


There are different formats. To support virtual disks on FAT file systems, we split the disk into 2 GB files. If you export to one file from the VirtualBox it should also work properly.

Avatar lysrin 3 post(s)

Hi again,

Thanks for the information about the files. I thought I would post back with the solution I decided to use in case it might help someone else.

After some reading on snapshots in VirtualBox, that didn’t seem like the correct option for backing up the VM. Using the VBoxManage clonehd command seems to be the way to go, but for some reason I was having issues as described above. So, I decided to try VMWare Player and run the Redmine stack that way. I am more familiar with VirtualBox, so that is why I hadn’t tried that sooner.

Setup went fine. Then to test backup options, I tried to copy the whole VM directory to a new location. I created a new VM in VMWare Player using the open existing option, selected the new copy, and pressed play. VMWare conveniently informed me that it looked like I had either copied or moved this VM, and that I should select which so it could configure it correctly. In this case, I selected copy, and everything from that point on started and ran perfectly. All my Redmine information was there as expected.

My final test was to do the same copy, but remove all references to the existing VM from my host PC and from VMWare Player. I then created a new VM by opening the copy. Again it said it appeared that it was copied or moved, this time I selected moved, and everything worked perfectly once again.

So my backup solution will be to run VMWare Player rather than VirtualBox in this case, and simply copy the whole VM directory (all the vmdk, vmx, etc. files) as a backup. Then if I have to recreate the VM, just copy the backup into the correct path, open the VM, and carry on.

A final note of thanks:

I just wanted to thank the folks at Bitnami for making these stacks. Before discovering this option (forgive me I am still inexperienced in some of these things), I had spent the last two days trying to setup a Linux box with some (any) bug tracking software. The problem was the Linux box is on an intranet, with no access to the internet, so all the normal package management tools were of no help. I was pulling my hair out (what little I have left) as I ran up against package dependency after dependency and had to “sneaker-net” back and forth from an Internet PC to my Linux box. Anyway, after discovering the Bitnami stack, I had the whole thing up and running in less than an hour!

Many thanks to you and fellow ninjas!

Avatar Beltrán Rueda Administrator 3,714 post(s)

We are glad to hear that!! Thanks for your feedback, it is very useful to continue improving the Stacks and Virtual Appliances.